Packaging is something we're bombarded with on a daily basis. So creating an eye-catching packaging design that can be reproduced for years is a real challenge, especially with trends in industrial design now demanding biodegradable or renewable packaging.
Now more than ever, packaging design matters. The designs below show the direction in which many different industries are focusing their packaging design for years to come.
01. Moses Lake Cellars
Thirst is a design agency specialising in the craft drinks industry, and it's currently exploring new techniques and executions in packaging design as part of its Studio Series. This range of bottle labels for luxury wine brand Moses Lake Cellars was designed to work as a collective on a dinner table.
"We wanted to explore typographic lettering techniques that were bold and youthful, yet still carry the luxurious qualities associated with wine," says Thirst. To give an extra touch of luxury, the studio used heavy paper stock, and each label is double folded, white onto gold.
02. CS light bulbs
Everyday products such as light bulbs tend to lend themselves to fairly utilitarian packaging, but these, produced by Belarus electrical company CS, boast beautiful boxes that turn the product into an important part of the packaging design.
Designed by Angelina Pischikova, with line illustrations by Anna Orlovskaya, this amazing packaging uses detailed drawings of insects, and the bulbs themselves are paired with certain bugs depending on their shape and size. Long, thin bulbs are stored in dragonfly boxes, while the coiled stripes of an energy saving bulb become the abdomen of a bumble bee.
Located in the heart of Belgrade, Serbia, Dolce is a cake shop that combines traditional techniques with a modern approach. Independent design studio Metaklinika was tasked with creating a range of packaging for the brand. The whimsical result takes inspiration from Baroque aesthetics, and uses iconography based around the theme of Alice in Wonderland.
04. Leafs by Snoop
With cannabis slowly becoming less and less illegal in the USA, cannabis branding is increasingly becoming a thing, complete with packaging to match. Snoop Dogg brought in none other than Pentagram to design the brand identity and packaging for his line of cannabis products: Leafs by Snoop.
Stepping far away from the idea of furtively buying a grubby little bag of greenery, Pentagram's designs include a distinctive leaf-based logo (including an animated version), luxurious weed boxes and a range of edibles including six chocolate bars and cannabis sweets called, of course, 'Dogg Treats'.
05. Colour me Blind
For her graduation project at , graphic design student Alexandra Burling wanted to see if it was possible to create an aesthetically appealing packaging design for the visually impaired. Following her research period, she decided to focus on groceries.
“I wanted to give blind people the liberty of doing something so obvious as going down to the supermarket and buying milk,” explains Burling. "The aim was to provoke discussion and pave the way for innovative thinking about how packaging design can appeal to more senses than sight."
Creating an entirely new visual identity that contains everything from the logo to packaging to display and flyers, Karamelleriet has achieved an expression that is the caramel production worthy.
Back in 2014, Liquorice Allsorts had a mini facelift from Bond Creative Agency for Cloetta – a leading confectionary company in the Nordic region. The new packaging used the traditional sweets' distinctive shapes and colours and used them as the basis for a more modern design.
The agency's recent update for Cloetta's Black and White edition follows the same theme, but with the colour stripped away. "The silver print and matt finishing give a tasty touch to the functional cardboard box," says Bond.
08. Spine Vodka
German designer Johannes Schulz created this inspirational packaging for Spine Vodka. "It was a private project I started after my graduation of an international communication design school in Hamburg, Germany," he explains. "Spine is a high quality product just like the design, reduced and simple with a consciously 'twist' in his message and a memorable name fitting to the project."
Integrated the spine with the ribcage to communicate a product with a 'backbone', the uniqe 3D design approach sets it aside from its 2D counterparts. "The transparent glass material stands for a product that don't has to hide something," Schulz concludes.
London-based creative agency SomeOne’s created this tactile packaging as part of its branding scheme The Lovely Clinic. Faced with the challenge of branding a beauty client, SomeOne decided it was time to challenge the industry norms. “The beauty sector is awash with images of impossibly beautiful women, who hint that if it wasn't for a particular brand, they would resemble the back of an elephant rather than a glowing example of perfection,” it points out on its website.
“We centred on the visual theme of paint – globally recognised as a way of either enhancing the existing – or a way of working with basic elements to create something astonishing,” adds senior designer Tom Myers.
US company Brandless has taken minimalism to the extreme by trademarking white space in its range of food and home items. Co-designed with Brooklyn agency Red Antler, each product is made up of a single colour with the white box design dropped on top. The text in the boxes is effectively negative space, and is readable thanks to the colour underneath peeking through.
Interestingly, the lack of identity means that the range can dodge a fee known as Brand Tax, which means Brandless is able to sell all the products at a standard price of $3. Read more about the range here.
Next page: 10 more innovative packaging designs